Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Cabin Fever

Blessed Beyond Measure: Cabin Fever: "I think I must be suffering from cabin fever. Every cell in my body is crying, 'Get out of the house and get away today! Do something fun an..."

Cabin Fever

I think I must be suffering from cabin fever. Every cell in my body is crying, "Get out of the house and get away today! Do something fun and spontaneous!" After working six nights in a row straight, I'm on my third day off and I want to do something different today!

Yes, winter is fiiiiiiiii-nally winding down and I'm looking so forward to warmer weather and getting outdoors more and opening windows and letting fresh air in! My only plans today are for grocery shopping, but still, it would be a nice change of pace to do it during the daylight hours God has given us!

I awoke to rain yesterday early....I tend to be a night owl anymore and that can be anytime between midnight and 4 AM. I chose to do my homey chores and get them out of the road in the morning just so I could chill in the afternoon.

I got a lot accomplished, from laundry to stripping the bed and flipping the mattress, to vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floor. I have to confess, the mopping of the kitchen floor? That was a necessity after last week's rains. Cady has yet to figure out how to wipe her paws and so I had paw prints all over the kitchen floor. Me and my Swiffer Wetjet took care of that in no time! (I love my Swiffer Wetjet!)

Dinner was a white bean chili (of sorts) done in the crockpot. I had only put out some pork stew meat to thaw, so I got creative!

Of course, it has to start with an onion. I love onions! I recall not liking them so much when I was younger, tho! Now...yeah, they are a staple in my house. And can I just say, I love using my cast iron skillet? Love it, love it, love it....easily the most used frying pan I use! I've read pros and cons on how to keep them clean and I go with what my mom does and that's just washing it with water. Yep, that's pretty much all I do. It's been used enough that it's well-seasoned and I love using it!

So....while the onion was browning, I added the cut up pork stew meat (cut up again for smaller chunks), grabbed my crockpot and got it ready and started to add ingredients for my chili. No recipe, just an idea....

 Using the Wal*Mart Great Value brand of Black Bean/Corn Salsa, I added that to my crockpot, added a couple of cans of Northern beans, some chili powder, and the browned onions and pork to that. Turned it on low and walked away.

I knew I wanted to bake bread yesterday. I had seen an awesome pictorial how to on The Country Blossom for Amish White Bread that I wanted to try. Talk about easy!!!!! And those pictures helped, too! (Thanks again, Katy!)

While I waited for the bread to raise before baking, I came across another idea for making fry bread. I was craving fry bread yesterday and this was sooooo simple! And I had the ingredients on hand! Just the thing to go with my chili, especially when the 2nd raising of the bread in the loaf pans was taking longer than I liked!

Simply, I just took a package of jumbo buttermilk biscuits, flattened them out, and fried them (again using my wonderful cast iron skillet!) in about a half inch of vegetable oil for about 30 seconds on each side. Ta da! Light, flaky fry bread! Don't they look delish?!
And they were awesome with the chili!

Final results on the bread.....yummy.....great with melted butter just out of the oven.....and later when they were cooled down! I am looking forward to making sandwiches with the bread later today!

Today's plans are simple - taking some time outside my home! Normally, I stick pretty close to home on my days off. But I'm feeling antsy today and would like to get out and about. No real urgent matters to take care...well, I may want to put gas in my car (can you beleive the price of gas?!?!) and pick up a few groceries to restock the pantry. The Lord has blessed me this pay with a bonus from work and so I will use some of that to restock items like the salsa and beans. And I think more yeast to make more bread! ☺

Well, for now, that's it! I'm off to see what blessings I can find today! Oh, and happy Saint Patrick's Day!

May you always be blessed beyond measure!

An Irish Prayer
May God give you...
For every storm.... a rainbow,
For every tear... a smile,
For every care... a promise,
 And a blessing in each trial,
 For every problem life sends,
 A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh...a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Positve Or Negative?

Blessed Beyond Measure: Positve Or Negative?: "I don't normally respond to posts of a divisive nature on Facebook. I mean, I have opinions, but I usually keep them to myself. This morning..."

Positve Or Negative?

I don't normally respond to posts of a divisive nature on Facebook. I mean, I have opinions, but I usually keep them to myself. This morning, I think of something that my Grandma Routley passed down to her children, who in turn said this to their children: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

This morning, there was a question posed about an annual event that happens every June in this little town I live in. While I haven't gone to any of the events in years, the fact still remains that I genuinely like this little town. It's small, people know you, you know them, and overall, it's a good place to live.

My response was to disagree with a few people who, in my opinion, were being kind of negative. Granted, they are entitled to their own opinions, but the fact that they seemed so negative really bothered me, so I responded. After doing so, trust me, there was an urge to delete my response. Why? Well, who likes being in the minority? But I'm going to stand behind my opinion as I feel it's a valid one. (We are all entitled to our opinions and we can agree to disagree and still, somehow, remain at peace with each other!)

This got me thinking about about something else I had read this morning. That we are known by our fruit. I also believe we are known by our words. Scripture says that we speak out of our hearts. If what we say and what we do don't mesh, yikes! Problem! And if we speak ill of or towards others, what does that say about the condition of our heart?

I can complain about life right along with the rest of the world. The price of gas drives me nuts and yes, I complain. Too much snow, too much rain, higher prices for everything but less pay. But, if I make a conscious choice to not let those things pass my lips and fly into the air, how much of an impact might that make on someone else? Ever notice how it's really easy to start a griping session? Just takes one person to verbalize it and a second to agree and add their two cents. Before you know it, what might have been a pleasant conversation has led to feeling irritated within.

So, yeah, those are my thoughts this morning on what I'm thinking about. I hope that I am more positive than I am negative. I pray the Lord reminds me continually of how blessed I am, yes, blessed beyond what I can ever measure. And I pray I keep focused not on the negatives around me, but totally on Him.

Be blessed today! I am so thankful for you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Blessed Beyond Measure: A Little of This and A Lit...

Blessed Beyond Measure: Blessed Beyond Measure: A Little of This and A Lit...: "Blessed Beyond Measure: A Little of This and A Little of That...: 'It's been almost two weeks since my last blog. Life has been good, keepin..."

Blessed Beyond Measure: A Little of This and A Little of That...

Blessed Beyond Measure: A Little of This and A Little of That...: "It's been almost two weeks since my last blog. Life has been good, keeping me busy around the house and with work. Sometimes, I have thought..."

A Little of This and A Little of That...

It's been almost two weeks since my last blog. Life has been good, keeping me busy around the house and with work. Sometimes, I have thought about sitting down and sharing a few words, only to find myself distracted and off doing something else!

How great to see the sunshine come out recently and melt away the snow! Today, the weather is a little strange....I had heard it was supposed to rain, yet it has been looking like white stuff trying to lay on the ground! So does this mean that March has actually come in like a lion? It's been windy as well!

This picture I took one morning last week coming home from work. I like how the snow was laying on the branches. There's something to be said about how God can take something ordinary and paint a beautiful one-of-a-kind picture out of it!

Big accomplishment this week was finishing up my federal taxes! The past two weeks, on my days off, I have attempted to read the thick booklet that went with the forms. The more I read, the more confused I became. The more confused I became, the more my head started to hurt and the more I just wanted to walk away! At the suggestion of a friend, I checked out Turbo Tax online and was able to finish my federal taxes! Praise God! I also had to pay in, but God is providing for that as well!

Not a lot new on the home front other than I've started conversing with a Christian man from down near Altoona. Now don't be getting all excited just yet! We are chatting on a Christian dating site and are just in the beginning stages of getting to know each other. (And I do mean literally beginning stages - two chatroom conversations does not a relationship make!) I'm being cautious and careful and trusting God to guard my heart and to lead where this will go. I share this with you so that you can pray for God's will. I honestly don't know if anything will come of this, but felt that it would be good to have some accountability out there about it. Of course, if you know of any available single Christian guys out there, let me know! ☺ Mid-40's to mid-60's.....

Seriously, though, I'm content with where the Lord has me. I know that His timing is always better than mine and want His best, always. I was asked the other night why I had never married and my response was that the right man hadn't asked me yet. And that it is still a desire of my heart and God knows that. And that's the truth! I want God's man, God's choice -His best for me! And in the meantime, I seek to do what He asks of me. And the awesome thing is that God knows my heart and I trust Him with this.

I don't ever have to worry or be anxious, but continue to trust Him, not just with this, but with all things! He is faithful - He's proven that over and over and over again to me. He knows what we have need of, even before we ask! But He loves to be asked, do you realize that? He loves it when we talk to Him about anything and everything and He's always available to listen. And if we also stop to listen, He will speak to us thru His Word and His people and to our hearts. He is such a relationship-oriented God! I love Him for that! (OK, that just makes me smile and want to yell, "Wahoooooo!!!!!" He sure knows how to bring me delight! I hope I do the same for Him!)

I am looking forward to warmer weather. I want to get out and start to walk more, taking Cady with me. I have these in-home walking videos/DVDs that I could be using. I just find it hard to get motivated to use them. Again, maybe another area I need some accountability with!

My goal is to continue to work on getting healthier and if I lose more weight in the process, awesome! I joked with a friend yesterday that I own scales, but they are lost in the spare bedroom/pantry somewhere. I know I had been maintaining the weight I lost a few years ago (about 60 lbs), but I know I need to be more diligent with watching what I eat and exercise.

I know I'm not alone in this struggle, that others are right there with me. I guess I'm sharing so this just to be honest and let you know, hey, I'm willing to be open and vulnerable with you about it. If you could use some encouragement in this area, I would welcome you on this journey to getting healthier!

Ah, I just heard rain on the roof....sounds like a change in the weather is happening! Spring has got to be around the corner! We have to keep hope that the winter season will indeed pass and bring new life with the influx of spring. The birds are already singing their beautiful morning songs when I come home from work at 7:30 AM and it's a glorious thing. It gives me hope that things are coming back to life after being asleep all winter.

Praise God for coming and giving us new life through His Son, Jesus! And praise Him for making all things new!

So, there you go....some of my thoughts on this and that. Would love to hear from you. I trust that the Lord will bless you beyond measure, not just today, but always!

Because we are loved, may your heart rest in Him!